‘Poetry As Work: Contracts, Bookings, and Quality’ Workshop Held

Following a common sad practice of not paying poets or underpaying for their services at events and participation in campaigns, the ‘Poetry As Work’ workshop was debuted. The reality that each time poets are booked or cordially invited to perform at events, they are not paid in the guise of being given “exposure” had become very alarming. This workshop worked to equip poets as they interact with organizations, companies, and individuals hosting events or running programmes that poetry services.

The ‘Poetry as Work: Contracts, Bookings, and Quality (work)’ workshop was held on 7th May 2022, from 15:00 to 17:00. ‘Poetry as Work’ was divided into three (3) closely linked aspects of professional performance poetry bookings, contracts, and quality. Open to all performance poets, event organizers, and those curious about the subject matters under deliberation, the three (3) part workshop was deftly handled by renowned creatives and professionals Vanessa Chisakula, Kondwani Simwaba, Esq., and Bhekumusa Moyo.

The topics covered include 1) Exposure as a currency and when it is not 2) Pricing your value and valuing your price 3) If there is no contract, why should there be a deal 4) Legalities surrounding Contracts: legal advice 5) Bookings: How and why are you being booked? 6) Quality is pricy don’t sell your value short: the law of demand and supply 7) You are because I am: If you sell out, you sell others out too.

Key Takeaways

1. Under contracts, serious read and comprehension must be practiced in dealing with “conditions” and “warrants” parts of the contract as these are the foundations on which legal proceedings rely.

2. Quality work is optimized work and in turn adds value to the goals of the event, campaign, or organization it is performed in.

3. The CSOs are a network; relationships built within these networks are very vital to one’s bookings.

4. Branding is vital: The only way as creatives we will benefit from decisions being discussed at tables where we are not present is only if our name, image, or voice is registering in the minds and experiences of those at the table.

The workshop proved to be addressing widely experienced discomfort among spoken word artists, wrought by gaps in knowledge, information, and experiential practice, thus was well-received that interest was registered for more such technical workshops to be organized on quality of work, handling contracts, bookings, and other aspects of importance to the growth of the poetry workforce in Zambia. Because of the many people who showed interest in this particular workshop, we will hold another one covering the same points for those who could not make it.

Besides that, many more workshops and classes are coming your way here on out as we believe that a poetry workforce is only as valuable as it is skilled and highly capacitated. If you are interested in participating in future workshops, kindly Register Here, and if you have queries regarding our workshop Email Us Here. In the meantime, look forward to our Africa Freedom Day Poetry event on 25th May 2022. We can’t wait to host you for this day as poetry serenades our African-ness: past, present, and future, details about this event will be shared on our Facebook Page

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